Taj - the Epitome of love
Taj Mahal in Agra is the most precious gift of love by a man to his beloved wife on this earth. The credit of Taj's existence goes to the Vth Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, who built this monument of love to fulfill the last wishes of his wife, who before breathing her last asked her husband to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before.
Where is Taj ? Located on the bank of the river Yamuna, Agra is the proud owner of one of the worlds seven wonders - Taj Mahal. The city of Taj - Agra is one of India's most developed cities since the beginning of the 17th century when it was the capital of India. Amidst the glorified monuments of the glorious past, today Agra is also flanked by various industrial sectors.
Located At : Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India
Other Attractions Near Taj : Agra Fort, Sikandara, Itmad Ud Daulah's Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri
Open Between : 6 am to 7:30 pm. Closed on Fridays
Entry Fee : Indians (20 Rs), Foreigners (750 Rs)
Festival at Taj : Taj Mahotsav, celebrated between the 18th & 27th day of the month of February.
Places Around : Mathura (The Birth Place of Lord Krishna) - 58 kms. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary - 60 kms, Delhi (204 km).
Note : Taj is closed on Friday.
The History Behind this Monument of Love
Taj Mahal is the largest and the most valuable mausoleum, the construction of which started on 1631 AD, after the death of Mumtaz Mahal, in the memory of whom it was erected. It took nearly 22 years to complete this awesome structure in white marble.
People Behind this Marble Beauty
Constructed By : Shahjahan, the Vth Mughal emperor in India
In the Memory of : Mumtaz Mahal ( Shahjahan's wife)
Built Of : Makrana Marble of Rajasthan
Built In : (1631 - 1652 AD)
Architect : Ustad Ahmad Lahauri
Calligrapher : Amanat Khan Shirazi
Verses on the Tomb was Designed by : Poet Ghiyasuddin
Dome Maker : Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey Superintendent of Masons: Muhammad Hanif
Dome Height : 187ft at the centre
Love Engraved in White Marble
About 20,000 people were commissioned for the construction of the white wonder which continued for 22 years. Taj Mahal is a combinations of tomb, mosque, gardens, gateways and fountains. This priceless mausoleum is set on a raised platform that is 6.6 meters (20 ft) high and covers an area of 93.9 sq. meters (313 sq ft). The corner minarets are 41.1 meters (137 ft) high. The main structure is 62 meters (186 ft) on each side.
The entire mausoleum is build in white marble and in all 28 kind of rare, semi precious and precious stones were studded to its exquisite structure.
Materials were brought from various parts of the world to give this monument a look, that is continuously inspiring architects, artists, art lovers, poets, writers, philosophers, historians, etc. ever since its establishment. The chief material was white marble and the sandstone were used to erect the nearby other structures. The stones like Jasper, Jade, Crystal, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Coal & Comelian, Diamonds, etc. were implanted to this white wonder to create a most bewildering sights, the first of its kind to symbolize a man's love for a woman.
The well laid out garden, which surrounds the white beauty from all sides has canals and different waterworks. The dramatically planted trees, the organised canals, the symmetrical watercourse enhances the immaculate beauty of the entire complex.
How to Reach Taj Mahal ?
By Air : Kheria Airport is 6 km from Agra. From the International Airport at Delhi, Agra is 220km.
By Rail : Agra has three Railway Stations: Agra Cantt Rly Station, Raja-ki-Mundi Rly Station, Agra Fort Rly Station, which are linked to several parts of the country. There are several excellent train services to Delhi such as The Shatabdi Express (2 hrs), Taj Express (2.5 hrs), Intercity Express (3 hrs).
By Road : Some important road distances from Agra are Delhi-204km Bharatpur-57 km lucknow-369km Mathura-54km Nainital-353km, Varanasi-605km, Khajuraho-400km. Express bus services, both AC and non-AC are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior, and Jhansi.